Thursday, December 22, 2011

Change, Jihad-ul Akbar, and the Dream that Lasts Forever

We are living in too much fear. We open the newspapers and what do we find? People are protesting and dying all over the world, the price of oil is going up, international bankers are lending to each other to prop up the price propaganda of the equity and debt markets, movie stars betraying each other and going to jail, floods, earthquakes, landslides and typhoons destroying lives and property, the unemployment rates are rising, riots in cities, wars and civil unrests, terrorists are everywhere, analysts forecast a weaker global economy, recession, double dip recession, institutionalised and ad-hoc corruption, and there is not even a good program on tv.

Inter spaced between these bad news are advertisements quietly unsettling your contentment - I already have a pair of shoes. But there is a new style/colour out. Buy! Buy! Buy! I already have a handphone, But now there is one that can talk back to me. Buy! Buy! Buy! I already have a car. But now there is a better model and it looks awesome. Buy! Buy! Buy!

Squeezed between the fear generated by both mainstream/alternate media and the discontentment which is the product of consumerism's marketing, I am really surprised as to the number of sane people I come across every day. Sensible, thoughtful and prudent. It is from them that I take my lessons of life and not from the news organisation nor the marketers of dreams with expiry dates. For I want my dreams to last forever.

While we can opt out of the mainstream media and surf the internet for alternative points of view, it is not good enough. For even alternative news sites have their agendas. Change is an organic thing, like quitting smoking, better diet, and more exercise. And change is a fundamentally spiritually thing, like praying and fasting, doing charity work, dzikr (remembrance of God) and salawat (praising the Prophet) and just being nice to everyone. We have to stop blaming other people for the troubles of this world and start changing ourselves. This is the Jihad-ul Akbar, the Great(est) Struggle. It sounds holy fancy and operatic, but the truth is, success in the Great Struggle is built upon small personal changes.

Go on... try to make that change. The operative word here being 'try', because after all, if it was easy it would not be called a struggle. God will not judge you for failing, He will love you for trying. Have a beautiful day, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way